Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Won! (Part 1)

Well, I’ve finished Monkey Island 2. I know there are a lot of people out there that find the ending to be disappointing and / or bewildering, but I’m not going to reveal my feelings just yet. That would spoil all the fun. Like Part III, the IVth and final part of the game is nowhere near as long as the first or the second. There was still a lot to do though, and it took me a significant amount of time to get through. I originally had one extra long post, but I've since decided to split it into two more easily digestible parts. At the end of the last post, I’d just caused a huge explosion in LeChuck’s Fortress, causing Guybrush to fly through the air over the ocean. Apparently he stayed airborne for hours, and eventually landed rather awkwardly on the beach of Dinky Island. He appeared to be unconscious at first, but that didn’t stop me from pixel hunting the area. The first thing I found in the near vicinity was a bottle in the water. As soon as I looked at it, Guybrush got up and told me that it was empty, and had a cap on it. There was also a sign behind where he landed, and reading it revealed the following message: “Welcome to Dinky Island, home of the treasure of Big Whoop.”


It seems Guybrush experienced some nasty turbulence and a particularly rough landing during this flight.



I wandered to the right of screen, and there I found quite an odd scene. There was a parrot sitting in a tree, spouting what I thought might be important information: “I want my granddaughter to marry a REAL man, a CAPTAIN. Not a washout like you. Oh, the heck with it. Let’s make a map, and tear it into four pieces.” Given the mention of a granddaughter, I could only assume that the original speaker of the words was Captain Marley, Elaine’s grandfather. To the left of the parrot was a strange looking contraption which Guybrush recognized as a moonshine still. I didn’t appear to be able to do anything with it at this point, but I could pick up the crowbar and the martini glass that were sitting on the ground in front of it. There was a man meditating nearby, and I immediately recognize him from The Secret of Monkey Island. It was Herman Toothrot. I asked him what he was doing on Dinky Island, and he responded with “I’ve been waiting for you.” I asked him to explain, but only received an unnecessarily expansive answer: “Our meeting comes at this, the final moment of my existence so far. All else has been in anticipation of this event.” I asked Herman why he was there in a slightly different way, and he told me he was teaching philosophy. Neo-existentialist Cartesian Zen Taoism to be precise. I asked him quite a few other questions, but his answers appeared to be nothing more than philosophical bullshit. Before I left to check out the rest of the island, I discovered there was a cracker in the barrel below the parrot. I picked it up and gave it to the bird. In return, he appeared to give me some decent advice: “Head due east from the pond to the dinosaur”.


Herman claims to have never heard of Big Whoop.


Dinosaur? On Dinky Island?

I wandered along the beach to the left of screen until I came to an opening in the jungle. On entering, I found myself on a path that forked to the left and the right. I chose left, and after a couple of screens came upon a bag hanging from a tree branch. Examining it revealed that it had something lumpy in it, but sadly I couldn’t reach it. I tried using various objects from my inventory, but couldn’t figure out how to get to it. Since I couldn’t travel further to the left, I made my way back to the fork and continued on to the right of screen. Along the pathway I discovered a box lying next to a pond. It was tied shut with some rope, and when I tried to open it, Guybrush untied the rope and added it to my inventory. The box itself was nailed shut, which immediately brought the crowbar to mind. I used the crowbar on the box and it worked. Inside was some dynamite, which I eagerly picked up.


Something lumpy this way hangs.


Dynamite for three-year-olds. How responsible!

Now that I’d solved that little puzzle, I noted the pond that I was standing next to. The parrot had told me to go due east from the pond, so that’s what I did. I walked through a couple of screens that had numerous pathways leading in all directions before finding the dinosaur. It wasn’t a real one of course. It was merely a plant shaped by someone to resemble a brontosaurus. The parrot arrived shortly after I did, and squawked on the dinosaur’s back, as if anticipating something. When I tried talking to it, it simply repeated the same instructions it had given me earlier. I couldn’t find anything to interact with on the screen, and I was now faced with paths leading up and down. I wondered whether I needed to find some more crackers to get my next instructions, but in the meantime I had little choice but to explore on my own.


By now I'd come to the realization that I was going to have to explore yet another adventure game maze. My favourite!


Not even Guybrush's charm worked!

I’m not going to describe everything that I did over the next period of time. Basically I wandered through a whole stack of jungle screens, always ending up back on the beachfront no matter what direction I took. I did come across a few things of note during my travels, with the first one being pretty damn hilarious. In the middle of nowhere I found a telephone attached to a tree. When I used it, Guybrush dialed the LucasFilm Games Hint Line on 1-900-740-JEDI. A girl named Chester Cheeter answered, so I told her that I was lost in the Dinky Island Jungle in Monkey II. Her response was gold: “Look, there are only two ways out of the room you’re in. Figure it out, knucklehead.” I went on to ask her a whole bunch of questions, including “Why do adventure games cost so much?” and “What IS the secret of Monkey Island?”. She wasn’t particularly helpful, sarcastically telling me to go figure things out for myself. It was certainly another classic LucasArts moment though. The second thing of note that I discovered during my travels is that I could hit the bag hanging from the tree with the bottle, just like a piñata. No matter how many times I hit it though, nothing happened. I figured I wouldn't be able to hit it for no reason through, and I wondered why I couldn’t use the crowbar. The other thing I discovered was pretty obvious, but I was surprised that I was actually able to do it at the particular time that I did. I used my last remaining match to light the dynamite. This seemed eminently dangerous to me, but after a couple of minutes walking around with lit dynamite in my inventory, I figured it would stay that way until I needed it.


She may be smiling, but Chester Cheeter isn't enjoying her position.


Surely I wouldn't be able to do this if it didn't mean something. Hmmmm...

It seemed odd to me that I could hit the bag with the bottle for no apparent reason. While thinking about it, I realized I’d never tried removing the cap from the bottle. The game had specifically mentioned that it had a cap on it, so I tried using the crowbar on it. It worked…sort of. Instead of simply removing the cap, Guybrush broke the bottle in half, resulting in a pretty nasty looking piece of glass. Aha! I used the broken bottle on the bag, slicing it open in the process. A box of cracker mix fell out onto the ground. So my belief that I would need to give more crackers to the parrot was correct. I was just going to have to make those crackers first. Examining the packet revealed that I would simply need to add water to the mix to make some crackers, so I went back to the beach. I filled the martini glass with saltwater, and then tried to use it on the cracker mix: “This water is too salty to use with low-sodium cracker mix.” The solution to this problem was right in front of me. I used the saltwater on the moonshine still, resulting in a glass full of distilled water. Using that on the cracker mix had the desired result, and I repeated the process until I had two crackers to bribe the parrot with (there was no more mix in the box by this stage).


Who knows why someone hung a bag containing a box of cracker mix from a random tree branch in the Dinky Island jungle.


This wasn't a particularly challenging puzzle, but it was satisfying.

I took the pathway east from the pond again until I was standing in front of the dinosaur. This time I gave another cracker to the parrot and was rewarded with the next set of directions: “Head north from the dinosaur to the pile of rocks.” I did that, and gave the parrot another cracker when he arrived and perched on top of the rocks: “Head due east from the rocks to the X.” I did, and had to laugh when I walked into an opening that contained a massive black X on the ground. So no-one has ever managed to find this spot? Herman arrived shortly after I did. “Oh, you meant THIS treasure. Why didn’t you say so? You could have come by the shortcut, like I do.” I could now access the screen containing the X by simply walking to the right of screen past Herman’s makeshift marquee.


The parrot sure knows its way around the island.


Thanks for nothing Herman.

Hoping that X really did mark the spot on this occasion, I used my trusty shovel on it. Guybrush dug a fairly deep hole until he hit cement. I figured there was only one way to deal with that, so used my dynamite on it. Guybrush had barely even reached into the hole when the stuff blew up! Suddenly my view switched to Elaine in her mansion bedroom. She heard the explosion from there, and had little doubt who was responsible: “Great Scott! That came from the direction of Dinky Island! That idiot must be messing with my grandfather’s treasure! I’d better get over there.” When the view switched back to Guybrush, he was standing on one of two rather precarious looking pillars beneath the explosion-created hole in the ground. I immediately recognized the area as the one Guybrush had been telling his story to Elaine in, meaning I was very close to catching up to the present, so to speak. On the second pillar sat a treasure chest, presumably containing the Big Whoop treasure. I quickly figured out that I couldn’t just move Guybrush from one pillar to the next. I’d have to figure out a way to get him across. Pixel hunting revealed that I could interact with the twisted metal rods at the top of the screen, so I tried using the rope with them: “I don’t think it will catch on there. They look sturdy, apart from being all bent up.” This gave me an idea. I used the crowbar on the rope to create a grappling hook, which I then used on the metal rods to swing across to the treasure. Both pillars crumbled, leaving Guybrush hanging from the rope with one hand while hanging onto the chest with the other.


Guybrush really needs to be more careful when it comes to explosives.


You know me...ahem...Guybrush well.


Seriously, what can go wrong?

Now that Guybrush had told Elaine the whole story leading up to his current predicament, he asked her whether she would now help him.  She said that she would, but the rope Guybrush was suspended from just happened to snap at that very moment, causing him to plummet to the bottom of whatever cavity they occupied. He obviously survived the fall, as I regained control of him at the bottom, albeit in complete darkness. I had no matches left, so was forced to try to find something useful in the pitch black surroundings. Humorously, I soon discovered there was a light switch, so switched it on. “Boo!” Standing right in front of me was LeChuck! “Hello, Guybrush. You won’t escape me this time.” I reminded him that I’d escaped from him previously, so could easily do it again. He was unperturbed: “Even if you were to escape, I would always be able to find you again. We are bound to one another. I…am your brother!” Guybrush responded to this Star Wars moment the only way he could: “No! No, that’s not true! That’s impossible!” LeChuck stating that it was indeed true, then pulled out a voodoo doll. He explained that he was going to use it to torture Guybrush, then send him screaming to another dimension, one of infinite pain!” When the ghastly pirate thrust the needle into the doll, electricity swarmed around firstly him and then Guybrush. Our hero screamed in agony and then vanished. Had LeChuck really sent him to another dimension? What would this mean for the game?


Well, if you hadn't left him hanging for hours...


This whole scene is basically line for line from Star Wars. It's funny, but feels a bit obvious. Seriously though, is LeChuck really Guybrush's brother!!??


Hey! That's no way to treat your sibling!


TO BE CONTINUED

Session Time: 0 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes

9 comments:

  1. Trick, you should get extra CAPs for using the "ñ" in "piñata".

    Herman Toothrot is such a great character. IMO the funniest after Stan. We would often quote his "Gotta go. Pressing business, you know" line from SoMI and loved that he was a bit of a jerk. He's the perfect Ben Gunn for this game.

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    1. I think he's the only other character to talk directly to the player too (in the first game, I think).

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    2. Is it Toothrot or Toothroot? (The post contains the latter.)

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    3. Toothrot. Typo fixed!

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  2. I feel a bit of deja vu here and, admittedly, Chester look girlish in that picture, but isn't Chester supposed to be a guy? Or is it common name for girls as well?

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    1. Chester is totally a guy's name. Actually, for a minute I forgot I was reading AG rather than the CRPG Addict and thought the name was meant to be a deliberate dig at the player. Wonder what the Addict would make of that bit (although he's not going to play this one).

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    2. I stand corrected again.

      It totally looked like a girl to me, but then what I thought might be long hair could actually be the head rest of the chair. I guess I've never known or heard of a Chester in real life. I've always known the CRPG Addict as Chet (didn't realise it was short for Chester). Of course neither of those names are his real name either.

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  3. I do wonder where the very idea for 'cracker mix' came from. I can't exactly say that it's something I've really heard of...

    I also quite like that they found a way to introduce a parrot, even if I might suggest that it's a little amazing that it didn't go bonkers or forget human speech in the (minimum few years, right?) that it took Guybrush to find it.

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    1. That puzzle almost feels like it was written in reverse.

      A: The hermit should have a moonshine still. We should make a puzzle where Guybrush has to use it to distill water instead of alcohol, though.
      B: How about something dehydrated? Just add water!
      A: Sure, but why can't Guybrush just use ocean water for that?
      B: Uhh, uhm...
      C: Because he needs to make something low in sodium!
      A: Low sodium, I like it! Crackers are advertised as low-sodium, so it'll be that.
      A, B, and C (in unison): Parrots like crackers!
      A: Great, Guybrush can use the low sodium crackers to bribe a parrot. But where's he going to find low sodium cracker mix?
      B: In a bag hanging from a tree in the jungle?
      C: SHIP IT!

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